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Lancaster, United Kingdom

Lancaster University, officially The University of Lancaster, is a research-intensive British university in Lancaster, Lancashire, England. The university was established by Royal Charter in 1964 and initially based in St Leonard's Gate until moving to a purpose-built 300 acre campus at Bailrigg in 1968. Lancaster expanded rapidly and now has the 11th highest research quality in the UK and is the 16th highest ranking research institution according to the latest Research Assessment Exercise. Wikipedia.

Schomerus H.,Lancaster University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

The observation that PT-symmetric Hamiltonians can have real-valued energy levels even if they are non-Hermitian has triggered intense activities, with experiments, in particular, focusing on optical systems, where Hermiticity can be broken by absorption and amplification. For classical waves, absorption and amplification are related by time-reversal symmetry. This work shows that microreversibility-breaking quantum noise turns PT-symmetric systems into self-sustained sources of radiation, which distinguishes them from ordinary, Hermitian quantum systems. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Holscher C.,Lancaster University
Biochemical Society Transactions | Year: 2014

Recently, it has been shown that in patients with AD (Alzheimer's disease) and, to some degree, in patients with PD (Parkinson's disease) insulin signalling is impaired. This finding has initiated a range of research projects that showed remarkable improvements using treatments that initially had been developed to treat diabetes. Pre-clinical studies showed good neuroprotective effects when applying insulin or long-lasting analogues of incretin peptides. In transgenic animal models of AD and PD, analogues of the incretin GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) prevented neurodegenerative processes and improved neuronal and synaptic functionality in AD and PD. Amyloid plaque load and synaptic loss as well as cognitive impairment had been ameliorated in AD models, and dopaminergic loss of transmission and motor function was reversed in models of PD. On the basis of these promising findings, several clinical trials are being conducted with the first encouraging clinical results being published. In several pilot studies in AD patients, the nasal application of insulin showed encouraging effects on cognition and biomarkers. A pilot study in PD patients testing a GLP-1 receptor agonist that is currently on the market as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes also showed encouraging effects. Several other clinical trials are currently ongoing in AD patients. The present review summarizes the range of neuroprotective effects that these drugs have demonstrated and emphasizes the great promise that this approach has in providing novel treatments that have protective and even restorative properties that no current drug treatment can offer. ©The Authors Journal compilation ©2014 Biochemical Society.

Evans N.H.,Lancaster University | Beer P.D.,University of Oxford
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2014

Catenanes-molecules consisting of interlocked macrocyclic rings-have been prepared by templation strategies for some thirty years. The utilization of CuI cation, aromatic donor-acceptor interactions and hydrogen bonding assisted self-assembly strategies has led to the construction of numerous examples of these aesthetically pleasing species. This review seeks to discuss key developments in the synthesis and functional application of catenanes that have occurred since the Millennium. The much expanded range of metal cation templates; the genesis and growth of anion templation, as well as the use of alternative supramolecular interactions (halogen bonding and radical templation) and thermodynamically controlled reactions to synthesize catenanes are detailed. The class of catenanes that may be described as "molecular machines" are then highlighted and to conclude, attempts to fabricate catenanes onto surfaces and into metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are discussed. © 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Forde B.G.,Lancaster University
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2014

As a signalling molecule, glutamate is best known for its role as a fast excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian nervous system, a role that requires the activity of a family of ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs). The unexpected discovery in 1998 that Arabidopsis thaliana L. possesses a family of iGluR-related (GLR) genes laid the foundations for an assessment of glutamate's potential role as a signalling molecule in plants that is still in progress. Recent advances in elucidating the function of Arabidopsis GLR receptors has revealed similarities with iGluRs in their channel properties, but marked differences in their ligand specificities. The ability of plant GLR receptors to act as amino-acid-gated Ca2+ channels with a broad agonist profile, combined with their expression throughout the plant, makes them strong candidates for a multiplicity of amino acid signalling roles. Although root growth is inhibited in the presence of a number of amino acids, only glutamate elicits a specific sequence of changes in growth, root tip morphology, and root branching. The recent finding that the MEKK1 gene is a positive regulator of glutamate sensitivity at the root tip has provided genetic evidence for the existence in plants of a glutamate signalling pathway analogous to those found in animals. This short review will discuss the most recent advances in understanding glutamate signalling in roots, considering them in the context of previous work in plants and animals. © 2013 The Author.

Forde B.G.,Lancaster University
Current Opinion in Plant Biology | Year: 2014

Root system architecture is a fundamentally important trait for resource acquisition in both ecological and agronomic contexts. Because of the plasticity of root development and the almost infinite complexity of the soil, root system architecture is shaped by environmental factors to a much greater degree than shoot architecture. In attempting to understand how roots sense and respond to environmental cues, the striking effects of nitrate and other forms of nitrogen on root growth and branching have received particular attention. This minireview focuses on the latest advances in our understanding of the diverse nitrogen signalling pathways that are now known to act at multiple stages in the process of lateral root development, as well as on primary root growth. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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